Friday, June 10, 2016

Root Canal Gone Bad

A couple years ago Beth had a root canal done on one of her bottom teeth in the front. And after a while it started to turn black so we went back to her dentist and they told us that was normal. I've never had a root canal so I believed them.

A few months ago she chipped the tooth so we went back to the dentist and while she was looking at the tooth, she saw a small growth in Beth's mouth, between the bottom lip and gum. It almost looks like a skin tag. The dentist quickly took off her gloves and insisted we get that 'tag' looked at... TODAY!

She actually seemed panicked and nervous about it. They wrote out a referral for an oral surgeon and she kept insisting that we call t-o-d-a-y. So I went home and called... and they don't take her insurance. Of course.

I called the dentist back and they didn't have any other referrals, it was up to us to find someone but it needed to be done right away! I asked the lady on the phone if the dentist thought it was cancer and she told me she didn't know what it was, but we needed to get it looked at as soon as possible. This was back in April.

After a few more phone calls, we found Harborview Medical Center in Seattle takes her insurance so I set up an appointment and the soonest they can see her is September. Seriously?! I explained the situation and what the dentist said and they put me on a waiting list. A couple weeks ago we got a call saying there had been a cancellation and could we come in on June 7? Absolutely!!

There was an oral surgeon, a tech and an aide all in the room while he looked at the 'tag'. He wasn't panicked at all and said he doesn't think it's cancer. He showed me the x-ray and said the tooth was black because the root canal was infected and the growth is from the infection. There's a cyst inside of it and he said they'll put her under local anesthesia, remove the cyst and send it off to be biopsied.  They couldn't do it that day, we'd have to make another appointment and come back another time.

He thinks the tooth needs to be pulled but they can't do that there, we have to go back to her dentist. But to be honest, I'm not sure I want to go back there and now I'm wondering if the dentist was panicked because she knew what a horrible job they did on the root canal. (She didn't do the root canal, it was a different dentist at that same clinic.)

So now it's a matter of finding a different dentist that takes Medicaid or going back to the original clinic. There's one dentist (that goes to our church) that I plan to call but if he doesn't take her insurance, I think I'm going to go back to the original clinic. Maybe the dentist who did it isn't there anymore, plus Beth likes it there and is comfortable with everyone. Then we go back to Harborview in a couple months to have the biopsy done.

On a good note, Beth did great during the x-rays and while the oral surgeon was checking her mouth. Plus, Chuck was willing to drive us so I didn't have to navigate the crazy streets of downtown Seattle!
After the appointment we went outside and took advantage of the beautiful views!

 This was the view from the room. 
You can barely see Mount Rainier behind the tall building on the left.

Chuck pointed out the window washers hanging half way down the gray building. No, thank you!!



Unknown said...

I have had a root canal (supposedly I had a cavity, the dentist filled it and then for a year following the filling I had the WORST pain in my mouth. Over the summer during college, the tooth abscessed and caused my face to swell. I had to go in for an emergency root canal the next day.). They are NOT supposed to turn black. That sounds like a very poorly done job. I hope you can resolve everything ASAP.

Unknown said...

Tooth issues are the worst!I will pray that everything can get resolved quickly.

Joanna said...

Toothaches can be a enough of a pain, but healing from dental work can sometimes be much worse! I would have been terrified if the dentist kept urging me to phone an oral surgeon. I know a cyst on your gums had to be a total pain, but I am so your tag was not cancerous.

Quinn Kimbrough said...

I use to hate going to the dentist. I finally found an amazing dentist so it makes getting dental work a lot easier. I am glad everything is okay with Beth. It is always a scary sign when a doctor is panicky. I hope you guys find a good dentist that accepts your insurance!